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Seychelles Vice President calls for SIDS to be integrated in infrastructure development in Africa-EU partnership

Seychelles Vice President calls for SIDS to be integrated in infrastructure development in Africa-EU partnership ( Speaking at the 3rd Africa-EU Summit in Tripoli, Libya, Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure has emphasized that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) must be able to effectively access infrastructure development that is being proposed as part of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.

In his remarks in the discussion on Regional Integration, Trade, and Infrastructure, the Vice President saluted the inclusion of aviation and maritime development as key components in the action plan for 2011 to 2013 under the Joint Africa EU Strategy of cooperation, as these were sectors under which small islands could develop their infrastructure with regional support. It is to be noted that in many of the efforts to improve infrastructure at regional levels, small islands often do not reap the full benefits as they are not beneficiaries of road projects, electrification projects, or regional dams and waterways.

The Vice President noted that islands are highly vulnerable and yet often have the least access to developmental mechanisms, whether it be at the international or regional level: “Seychelles and the other African SIDS have been persistent in voicing the need for African infrastructural development initiatives to also cater for projects that will facilitate their connectivity among themselves, with the rest of the African countries and the outside world.”

The Vice President stated that the inclusion of SIDS in infrastructure projects was essential for islands to be embraced in regional integration: “This will also allow the African SIDS to benefit meaningfully from this ambitious partnership, with a renewed feeling of ownership.”

The Seychelles delegation also stated that the strategy must also look at the security aspects of maritime trade in the context of the increased menace of piracy. The Vice President called for the African Peace Facility (APF) to be strengthened in the context of the Joint Strategy to effectively tackle the instability in Somalia, which is the root cause of piracy. He also put on record the thanks of the Seychelles government and people for the support of the European Union in the surveillance and patrol of the Indian Ocean.

The Summit has also addressed the issue of the Economic Partnership Agreements, which are still a subject of much debate. While reiterating the call for a fair conclusion to the process, which has been long and complex, the Vice President has asked that all parties redouble their efforts, as the delays had the potential of harming the investment and trade potential between the partners: “The uncertainty that has sometimes clouded our negotiations has also created uncertainty for investors and for businesses. Effective trade depends on transparency and predictability. We need to accelerate our efforts to deliver both.”

The Vice President is representing President James Michel at the 3rd Africa-EU Summit and he is accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam.

Alain St.Ange CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board Email:

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